Chicken Meatball Curry

by Ruwani

This Sri Lankan Chicken Meatball curry is moist, hearty and delicious. The coconut milk and aromatic spices make a lovely curry sauce which is perfect with bread or rice. It tastes best when it’s made ahead.

Chicken meatball curry

I love meatballs and this recipe is inspired by the ready to eat Kheels frozen meatball curry that we find back home. We hardly buy frozen ready to eat meals, my mum always cooks from scratch with fresh ingredients. When we were kids, me and my brother we love to try out new food that we see on commercials. According to the package instructions we just had to add only the coconut milk. The meatball curry was lovely. After so many years I tried making this meatball curry at home for my husband. I used the Sri Lankan chicken curry recipe and added more onions and tomatoes to make it a rich curry sauce. This curry can be served with rice, noodles, crusty bread or try serving with my Aromatic Garlic rice.

Chicken meatball curry

The chicken meatball curry has Sri Lankan roasted curry powder in it. If you don’t have it no problem you can use regular curry powder. Please feel free to adjust the chili powder according to your spice level. This curry can be frozen easily without adding the coconut milk. Thaw the frozen curry in the fridge the day before and take it out when you need it and heat the curry. When it comes to a boil add the thick coconut milk and your curry will be ready in 15 minutes. 

Sri Lankan meatball curry

Chicken Meatball Curry

Recipe by Ruwani Ravin KumarCourse: MainCuisine: Sri Lankan


Prep time


Cooking time



This Sri Lankan Chicken Meatball curry is moist, hearty and delicious. The coconut milk and aromatic spices makes a lovely curry sauce which is perfect with bread or rice.It  tastes best when it’s made ahead.


  • For Meatballs
  • 400g/ 1¾ cups minced / ground chicken

  • 1 small onion finely chopped

  • 10-12 curry leaves finely chopped( optional)

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic / minced garlic

  • ½ teaspoon grated ginger

  • 1 medium egg

  • 2 Tablespoon bread crumbs

  • 2-3 Tablespoons coconut oil for frying

  • For the Curry
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil

  • 1 2″ inch stick of cinnamon

  • 3 cardamom pods bruised

  • ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds

  • 7-9 curry leaves

  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds

  • 1 large red onion finely chopped

  • 2 large tomatoes finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic / minced garlic

  • ½ teaspoon chopped ginger/ minced ginger

  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1¼ cups water

  • cooked meatballs

  • ½ cup thick coconut milk/ coconut cream

  • 1 teaspoon dark roasted Sri Lankan curry powder

  • 2 3″ inch pandan leaves


  • For Meatballs
  • In a large bowl add all the ingredients( without the oil) for the meatballs and mix well to combine. Form the meat into balls ( makes about 15)place the balls on a plate and freeze them for 15 minutes.
  • Keep a pan on medium heat, add coconut oil and fry the meatballs just until lightly golden. It should be half cooked. Remove them and place them in a bowl.
  • For the Curry
  • Keep a large pan on medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Once the oil is heated add the cinnamon stick, cardamom, mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds to the pan and let the mustard seeds pop. Follow by adding finely chopped onions and curry leaves.
  • Fry till the onions turn pink and translucent. Next add the finely chopped tomatoes, ginger garlic and ½ teaspoon of salt. Fry for about 2 minutes until the tomatoes are soft, now add turmeric, black pepper, and chili powder stir well to combine. Add 1 tablespoon of water, mix well and let it fry for 3-4 minutes.
  • After 3-4 minutes add 1 ¼ cups of water and cook for 10 minutes. Add the meatballs, the coconut milk, curry powder, and pandan leaves. Stir well and cook the curry covered on low heat for 15 minutes. Serve warm with rice, noodles or crusty bread.


  • This curry tastes best when it’s made ahead.
  • Meatballs – can be made ahead or you could use meatballs that you already have at home. 
  •   Freezer Instructions – cook the curry without the coconut milk , roasted curry powder and pandan leaves. Cool completely and put the curry in a freezer bag and freeze for 2-3 months. When using thaw the curry and add it to a pan and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and add the coconut milk , roasted curry powder and the pandan leaves. Cover and cook for 15 minutes on low heat. 
  • For a Non-Spicy Version- Adjust the chili powder and ground black pepper according to your preference.

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